I have a secret.
I'm going to warn you that it will SHOCK you and that you may judge me a little. But I'm willing to take the risk.
Here it goes...
I DON'T REALLY PLAN VACATIONS.
Whew. I feel better.
I know, it sounds crazy, but it's true. Now don't get me wrong... we go on vacations. We plan when we will go on vacations. We even decide on the location, driving route/airline tickets/where we will sleep... but I don't really PLAN anything.
It's the oddest thing really.
I just find that part of the fun of going on vacation is not feeling like we have to live by some crazy list to accomplish.
When we went to Disneyland a few years ago the plan was this...
1. Go to Disneyland
2. Buy tickets to park
3. See characters
4. Have fun
When we went to NYC in January the plan was...
1. See the following things: Brooklyn Bridge, AMNH, Times Square, Statue of Liberty; eat at yummy places
2. Have fun
3. Don't kill the kids
And while I'm exaggerating a little - we really don't have a strategy for planning things. Ryan and I are both kind of spontaneous. We wait to see what the weather will do while we are somewhere and then go from there. Sometimes we go on vacations within the vacation because we are crazy like that. Driving to Memphis from Little Rock was my favorite day on Spring Break and it wasn't part of the big plan.
So my tips include:
Clean the house before you leave.
Set low expectations.
Live in the moment.
Watch your kids.
Read a book.
Take it all in.
Use one piece of luggage for dirty clothes.
Throw the list away.
Start a vacation jar.
Every member of our family contributes to this jar and the last three vacations we've been on, we have been able to use cash only for every meal and a few souvenirs. You'd be surprised how quickly one dollar bills add up. This is a great way to get the kids involved and excited about where you are going. My kids LOVE putting money in the jar - even their birthday money ends up in here. They want to help, they want to contribute and they feel so included in whatever it is we are doing. I love that it's easy and inclusive and also extremely practical and helpful.
Go get your jar today!
I can't wait to hear all the amazing tips you all have for planning the perfect vacation! I think I will have to plan some stuff if we ever make it to Disney World - we are currently waiting on my girls to be tall enough for the rides. Ha!
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